Guidelines for using the QuantiFERON-TB test for diagnosing latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MMWR Recomm Rep. 2003 Jan 31;52(RR-2):15-8.


Until 2001, the only test used to diagnose latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) was the tuberculin skin test (TST). However, in 2001, a new test (QuantiFERON-TB or QFT; manufactured by Cellestis Limited, Carnegie, Victoria, Australia) that measures the release of interferon-gamma in whole blood in response to stimulation by purified protein derivative was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This statement provides interim recommendations for using and interpreting QFT. As with TST, interpretation and indicated applications of QFT differ for persons according to their risk for LTBI and for developing tuberculosis (TB). This report provides guidance for public health officials, health-care providers, and laboratorians with responsibility for TB control activities in the United States in their efforts to incorporate QFT testing for detecting and treating LTBI. Regardless of the test used to identify LTBI, testing should be primarily targeted at diagnosing infected patients who will benefit from treatment.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunologic Tests / instrumentation
  • Immunologic Tests / standards*
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Tuberculosis / blood
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Virus Latency


  • Interferon-gamma